Gov. Kim Reynolds announced new leadership today for three state posts including the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa Division of Credit Unions and the Iowa State Public Defender’s Office.


Interim Director of the Iowa DOT Mark Lowe will serve as the department’s permanent director, effective immediately. He’s served as interim director since Nov. 29, 2016.


Previously, Lowe served as director of the Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Division and general counsel to the Iowa DOT. Before entering state government, he was a shareholder with Hopkins & Huebner, P.C. in Des Moines.


Lowe has a degree in law from Drake University and a degree in community and regional planning from Iowa State University. He lives in West Des Moines with his wife, Linda. They have four children. 


Katie Averill will serve as superintendent of the Iowa Division of Credit Unions, beginningTuesday, May 30. She replaces JoAnn Johnson, who announced her retirement earlier this month.


Currently, Averill is Senior Vice President of Citizens Community Credit Union in Fort Dodge where she has been employed for nearly ten years. She has served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development and Director of Marketing as well as overseeing seven branch locations.


Averill is a Certified Credit Union Executive. She also has a BBA degree in marketing from Iowa State University. Averill and her husband, Tim, are parents to three children.


Larry Johnson, Jr., will serve as Iowa’s next State Public Defender, beginning Tuesday, May 30. He’s served as the Branstad-Reynolds administration’s legal counsel since 2015 and replaces Adam Gregg, who was designated lieutenant governor Thursday.


Johnson served as deputy legal counsel in the governor’s office for four-and-a-half years before serving as legal counsel. He also worked in the private sector at a Des Moines metro law firm. Johnson has degrees in law from the Creighton University School of Law and management from Purdue University.


“Building a better Iowa means having the right people in the right positions at the right time.  I chose Mark, Katie and Larry because of their expertise, experience and deep commitment to serve Iowans,” Reynolds said.  “These dedicated leaders understand the level of excellence we are striving to achieve each and every day. That’s why I’m confident in their abilities to make a positive difference in their new positions.”


"The State Public Defender's Office will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm confident the office will be in good hands with the governor's decision to appoint Larry Johnson,"  Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg said.


These positions are subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.